We wandered around the town of Taal despite the intense heat of the midday sun. Having no map on hand, we walked around aimlessly; our goal was to reach Caysasay Church, the other old church, at the far end of the municipality. Passing several old houses, we were surprised that a few were open to visitors like us. One of these is the ancestral home of the Goco Clan.
We were cordially greeted by two Filipiniana-dressed guides who welcomed us to check the old house. We were more than glad to do so.
The Goco House was built in 1876 by husband and wife, Juan Cabrera Goco and Lorenza Deomampo. The man of the house served as a treasurer for the revolutionary forces in Taal during the Spanish occupation which earned him the trust of the townspeople. The house was restored in 1999, after Taal was declared a National Heritage Town by the National Historical Institute.
The house exemplifies the typical Filipino bahay na bato. The ground floor is made of stone, while the upper storey, of wood.
The ground floor houses a sort of museum showing photographs and publication clippings. Typical of this kind of homes, the dwelling is located at the upper floor, the ground relegated as a garage for carriages.
We were transported into the bygone days of Taal as we stepped into the foot-width plank floorings of the Goco House. Carved wooden lamps, intricately designed chairs, huge latticed capiz windows, ornate chairs, crystal chandeliers, haunting mosquito nets, old rocking chairs, opulent chest boxes; everything was as it should be.
The house was fresh and airy from the well-ventilated design of such homes despite its museum-like ambience.
We could have enjoyed the place better though if the guide manning the place had explained and elaborated the house and its occupant’s history.
After taking our requisite souvenir photos (guests are allowed to sit on some of the furniture) and giving our gratitude, it was time to check out the next house across the street, the Villavicencio Ancestral House.
Goco Ancestral House
Address: Corner of Marella and Del Castillo Street, Taal, Batangas
Entrance Fee: Free
GPS Coordinates: 13°52'49.0"N 120°55'16.1"E